The Ohio Bobcats (1-0) travel to Pennsylvania in Week 2 to battle the Pitt Panthers (0-1). Kickoff is set for 11:00 AM EST on Saturday, September 7th at Heinz Field and the game will be televised on the ACC Network.
Taking a look at the Week 2 college football odds, Pitt opened as a 6.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as the Panthers are currently listed at -6.5. The total for the game is sitting at 54.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Pitt vs Ohio
Ohio moved to 1-0 on the season last weekend after an impressive 40-21 victory over the visiting Rhode Island Rams. The Bobcats jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, as the game was pretty much out of reach after the end of the third quarter. QB Nathan Rourke was very efficient, going 16/22 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. He also led Ohio in rushing yards, racking up 75 yards and a touchdown on just ten carries. RB De’Montre Tuggle also had a big afternoon, running for 65 yards and two touchdowns despite having just three rushing attempts. WR Tyler Tupa led the way for the receiving corps, hauling in three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. As a whole, the offense gained more than 400 total yards – more than 250 of which came on the ground.
The Bobcats were slightly above average defensively against Rhode Island, holding them to 21 points on 394 total yards of offense. However, they did give up almost 300 passing yards to Rams QB Vito Priore who threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns.
Pitt failed to hold on to a slim 14-13 lead at halftime in their home opener last weekend, allowing Virginia to score ten unanswered points in the third quarter en route to a 30-14 defeat. The Panthers couldn’t get anything going offensively in the second half, getting completely shut out and committing several costly turnovers. QB Kenny Pickett didn’t have a good game, as he barely managed to complete 50% of his passes and threw two interceptions. Pitt also couldn’t really get anything going on the ground, as their leading rusher gained just 25 yards and averaged only 3.1 yards per carry. While a few receivers managed to eclipse the 50-yard mark, only Tre Tipton managed to find the end zoned against a tough Cavaliers defense. Overall, the offense gained just 263 total yards.
The Panthers also had several lapses on the other side of the ball, giving up more than 30 points to a Virginia offense that averaged only 28.5 points per game in 2018. Pitt also couldn’t change the momentum by forcing any turnovers, as Cavs QB Bryce Perkins passed for two touchdowns and didn’t give up a single INT.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Ohio +6.5
Even though I’m trying not to be overly biased after the Panthers poor showing in Week 1, it’s hard to ignore just how different their offense looks without the dynamic rushing duo of Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall. Pitt was a force to be reckoned with on the ground in 2018, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore after the entire offense managed to gain just 78 rushing yards total in Week 1 against Virginia. Sure, they might have a slightly better showing against a weaker Ohio defense, but the Bobcats appear to be most vulnerable through the air. It’s hard to see Pitt taking advantage of that after Kenny Pickett put up a total dud last weekend.
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On the other side, Ohio QB Nathan Rourke is a solid veteran who should do enough to keep the Bobcats within striking distance for four quarters. While there is always a chance that they could win outright, taking the 6.5 points seems like a great value despite playing on the road. This 2019 edition of the Panthers is very different than the team that had so much success last season, as the running attack masked some of Kenny Pickett’s regression after a strong freshman season in 2017. Three missing starters on the offensive line from 2018 looks like it could really impact Pitt as well. All in all, I think Ohio will hang tough on the road and grind out a cover here in Week 2 – give me the Bobcats!